Author Spotlight: Ezra Jack Keats
Back when I began college, I enrolled in the Early Childhood Education program because I could earn an AA after studying little kids for two years. One of my better education decisions.
One of the highlights of the program was Children’s Literature. No kidding. The class was all about reading books for children. Every children’s writer should take such a class. We learned all about what makes for a successful children’s book, read all kinds of books, even learned how to run a proper story time. There is an art to reading a book out loud. I am so ready for the day when my book gets published and the local librarian invites me in to read it to wiggling masses of kiddos. That day isn’t quite here, but my AA in ECE has me primed and ready.
One author I briefly remember studying was Ezra Jack Keats. Mike Allegra’s recent Debatable (and *sigh* win) about Peter in The Snowy Day got me reminiscing about my Keats encounters. He wrote several books about Peter, and I remember we studied what a trailblazer he was for his colorful collage style combined with simple, yet meaningful text. There was also the fact that back when Peter first appeared he was among the first picture book characters of cultural diversity. We noted it, but I don’t remember dwelling on it. We instead focused on the appeal of Peter as enjoyed a snowy day, discovering how to whistle, finding goggles–just enjoying being a nice kid growing up with friends and family in the city.
One thing we didn’t touch on was Ezra Jack Keats. Looking him up, yah, Mike got me curious. I was surprised. I had made assumptions, and Chef Boyardee did I learn a lot. This article presents Keats so much better than I can. He is definitely an author deserving a spotlight.
So–go enjoy your inner child and read all about Peter. He is Macy’s Parade balloon worthy–almost as much as Tigger.
Thanks so much for the link to this great article! I read many of Ezra Jack Keats’ books to my students in the past, and they loved them. Not sure why I never researched more about the background behind the man and his works. I really had no idea that his titles with the character, Peter, were so groundbreaking!
He was way before his time in contributing to cultural diversity.
Woah. You are a very generous soul, Cricket.
Friends do this kind of thing. Now and then.
And I’m not even expecting an article about Tigger. That ninja cow is sufficient.
Now a Space Ninja Cow would be a KILLER balloon!
I didn’t know any of this! Thanks for sharing the article.
I didn’t either!
Cool! Thanks for the article cricket! ❤
You are welcome! I learned a lot from it.